Montreal Bike Festival Herald Frees itself from COVID-19 Impact

MONTREAL (AP) — If a 21-story Leonard Cohen mural overlooking Montreal’s skyline could talk, it would tell the story of what the city’s crackling cultural life was like when the pandemic hit. I might give it to you. everyone was crouching. To borrow his lyrics, it was a cold-broken Hallelujah.

On the first weekend in June, Montrealers line the sidewalks and porches, honking their horns and yelling “Bonne Journée,” or simply “Go!” Go through urban space.

of Go Bike Montreal Festival Traditionally, and again, it kicks off the spring and summer seasons filled with music, outdoor activities, arts festivals and other joie de vivre.

This is not a hotshot race. Rather, crowds gather to cheer on neighbors and strangers during a week-long festival celebrating Montreal’s status as one of North America’s best bike cities, with nearly 20,000 people on each of the two major rides. join.

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this is, vast cycling network — Route Verte — Route Verte, ranked #1 among the top 10 cycling destinations in the world by National Geographic.

Cycling association Bélo-Québec, which manages the network and hosts the festival, said this year’s version of the event, although the annual event and other large gatherings were initially canceled and then scaled back, were not affected by COVID-19. I think it will be the first full-fledged one since then.

“We are back to historic figures,” said Jean-François Lo, CEO of Vélo-Québec. “We’re back in celebration mode. Now we have celebrations almost everywhere in the city.”

The festival kicks off on May 28 with the Metropolitan Challenge and covers a 145-kilometer (90-mile) route through the nearby Monteregie countryside.

The classic event, where downtown streets are closed to traffic, takes place next weekend. On June 2nd, the Horde departs at sunset. Tour La Nuit, with lots of people in strange costumes complete with bicycles decorated with carnival-like lights. June 4th is getting longer montreal island toolscovering 45 km, or 28 miles.

Both urban rides start and end at Parc Maisonneuve, home to the Olympic Stadium, Biodome, and Montreal Botanical Gardens. Other landmarks are on the way or nearby.

Law said the pandemic has accelerated improvements to bike paths in cities, including Montreal. Long-term strict lockdowns in urban areas have reduced bicycle commuting, but more people started cycling As a way to avoid going insane.

“Many people who start riding bikes find it safe and efficient to get around,” he says, and they keep doing it.

At the 2019 Tour de L’Ile, uplifting songs in French by a black choir echoed through the corners of a deserted warehouse district as cyclists splashed off the pouring rain. The festival rides are filled with such surprises one after another.

Quebec’s dedication to bike commuting and touring development, with its backbone of more than 3,000 miles (5,000 km) of Route Verte, is well known in the world of cycling and urban policy. Over a quarter of a century, bike paths, bike paths, multi-use trails, protected bike lanes and safe shoulders have grown five times his size.

Vero Quebec counts 10,600 km Approximately 6,600 miles of bike paths in the state. In the city of Montreal alone, the study found that two out of three adults will use bicycles for public purposes such as commuting, shopping and running errands in 2020, up from 42% five years ago. ing.

Colorado-based advocacy and research group PeopleforBikes Global reputation for urban bikesMontreal ranks as the #1 bike-friendly metropolis in North America.

Similarly, in the MIT book, global bicycle trends Rutgers University urban planning researchers John Pusher and Virginia Tech’s Ralph Buehler named Montreal a world leader in establishing safe networks for bike commuting and recreation.

Pusher told the AP that the city was “ahead of its time” in building “the most comfortable and stress-free cycling infrastructure.”

A study by Buehler and Pusher found that the number of serious bicycle-related injuries in Montreal since 2000 has more than doubled since the city’s bicycle network more than doubled, even before COVID-19 led to more bike riders. The rate has dropped by nearly two-thirds.

Bello-Québec’s Lo said cycling in the United States and Canada has been shaped by three waves.

The first cycle trails were created in the 1970s, many within existing parks. Then, between 2005 and 2010, bike lanes proliferated and shared bikes emerged in urban areas. The COVID-19 era has ushered in a third wave as e-bike sales skyrocket and the next generation of bike lanes, wider and more secure than ever before, emerges. took shape.

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